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Answers to Go with Susan Smith

Q. I am curious about the Texas laws about home schools. How are they regulated?

A. The Texas Education Agency provides the following online information: “This web page, which provides information about home schooling, was created by the Texas Education Agency as a courtesy to parents interested in educating their children at home. The TEA does not regulate, index, monitor, approve, register, or accredit the programs available to parents who choose to home school.

“Home schooling has been a legal alternative to public schooling since 1994. In the case of Leeper et al. v. Arlington ISD et al., the Texas Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision that children being taught at home are exempt from the compulsory attendance requirement to the same extent as students enrolled in private schools.

“Parents who choose to home school are required to follow a course of study that includes good citizenship. A public school district may ask parents to provide assurances in writing that they intend to home school their child.

“The state of Texas does not award a diploma to students that are home schooled. Home-schooled students can enter public school at any time but should be aware that most districts have policies and procedures in place to assess the mastery level of courses that students in home schools have taken.

“The results of the assessment may be used for grade placement or award of credit or both. Students transferring from home schools should be afforded the same treatment as students transferring from unaccredited private schools.”

For additional information, the TEA recommends the Texas Home School Coalition at

Q. I need a specialty Texas Instruments graphing calculator for a college class. These calculators are expensive and I don’t expect to use one in the future. Can you help me find a place to rent one?

A. I called the college bookstores and did not find one that rented calculators.

I turned to the internet and found options immediately. For $40, this student could rent a Texas Instruments graphing calculator for a semester at There are quite a few other options. Some may be even cheaper.

I wondered what it would cost to purchase this type of calculator. I looked online and found prices over $100.


Each week hundreds of people call or visit the San Marcos Public Library to find information. “Answers To Go” highlights recently received questions. Please visit the library at 625 E. Hopkins St., call 512-393-8200 for information over the phone or e-mail us through our webpage at Library.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666